Govt moves to avert full-blown strike

Emmerson Mnangagwa’s government, battling to avert a full-blown strike by civil servants, has indicated that it would soon engage their leadership to find ways to cushion them from the choking wave of price increases emanating from the distortions between the United States dollar and the local surrogate bond currency.

BY STAFF REPORTER

CiviI servants, estimated at 500 000, are demanding an increase in salaries after prices rose five-fold and inflation shot up from 3,52% in January this year to 5,39% in September and 20,85% in October.

Public Service Commission (PSC) secretary Jonathan Wutawunashe yesterday said government would soon convene the meeting to deal with issues affecting civil servants.

Of particular concern to government, he said, has been the price distortions on the market that have virtually impoverished citizens earning their salaries in bond notes and through real time gross settlement (RTGS).

Many goods and services have been priced in US dollar terms, a development that has consequently meant that ordinary citizens have to fork out between three and four times the price in bond notes, which is beyond the reach of the majority.

Wutawunashe said in a statement that a National Joint Negotiating Council (NJNC) meeting held on Thursday this week resolved that there should be a special indaba with workers’ representatives.

“Aware of the challenges that workers are facing as a result of a number of price distortions arising from and bordering on criminal activities, government has set in motion a process to convene a special meeting with the workers representatives,” he said.

“This platform will formalise ongoing arrangements to engage the workers in order to address the issues that they have raised in an integrated and comprehensive manner.”

Wutawunashe said government recognised the critical matters that civil servants wanted thrashed out and was committed to ongoing discussions with its employees.

“The workers presented a set of matters for discussion and government recognises these and commits itself to consultations on an ongoing basis to address them,” he said.

He said government would soon extend an invitation to the workers representatives to attend the “special meeting as a matter of urgency”.

The developments comes after negotiations between civil servants and government ended prematurely on Thursday with representatives of the workers storming out of talks in protest after being told that there would be no new offer on the table.

It is, however, not clear as yet if the government would present a new offer at the forthcoming meeting.

The government is already dealing with a strike by doctors that has paralysed operations at public hospitals while rural teachers are planning a protest march from Sunday, from Mutare to Harare to demand better pay and working conditions.

9 Comments

  1. our clueless government. great affinity to rule and not to lead but has absolutely no idea how things should be done

  2. IT IS VERY CLEAR THAT WHEN CIVIL SERVANTS’ SALARIES WERE PEGED, IT WAS IN US DOLLARS. WITH THE CURRENT SITUATION WHERE ALL PRICES WERE MULTIPLIED BY THE REAL RATE OF THE BOND NOTE TO THE US, CIVIL SERVANTS’ SALARIES MUST ASWELL BE MULTIPLIED BY THE SAME RATE WHICH I THINK IS BETWEEN 3 AND 5.I FAIL TO SEE WHY GOVERNMENT IS FAILING TO SEE THIS

  3. @magwere. They see it but as the norm they take Zimbabweans for fools

  4. Dont forget they stifled the Labour Movements from demonstrating a month ago which shows they don want to listen to any one because they know it all. Demonstrations are meant to make the Govt know what is on the ground and sort out the mess, its the same scenario we had Mr R.G. MUGABE and ED being the second in command was supposed to advise. You can see why we are in this situation they have no clue to solve but spending appetite, flying and buying cars and numerous workshops to draw T & S allowances.

    1. Shelton Masunda

      As long as Zanu PF is in power nothing will change.They are self centred.Redistribution of wealth is not happening in Zimbabwe and only a few individuals are enjoying the riches of the country.Since 1980 till now most of the rural areas in this country have never been developed,infact they are denigrating into jungles of impoverishment.

  5. The Muturi trick is backfiring ,they thought they would balance the budget by letting the bond slide against h other currencies which prices would rise so would tax on,goods and services,at the same time suppress salaries of a perceived docile civil service but the chickens are now coming home to roost.The anticipated narrowing of the deficit could be a mirage and wouldnt be surprised if budgetary outturn is 20% above target.Civil servant want their moni and there is another group of heartless people Private sector employers a lot of them,have been raking in,good, profits while supressing employee salaries and at the same tine enjoying preBond crash utility expenses zesa city of harare plus low telephony plus transport cost as fuel is artificially pegged.Private sector needs to adjust wages cause uneconomic wages will dent demand for goods and service,companies watch your,bottom line in 2019.

    1. iwe ndiwe wataura dama. The economic effect will hit private sector soon. They very suppressed demand and others are already filling it. Pegging prices to US rate is poor economics rather its speculative. Prices are a function of demand and supply. There has been loss of disposable income on the part of employees with government increasing taxes whilst retailers have also adjusted prices. The question is who will buy the over priced commodities under those circumstance.

  6. There is no industry to talk about. Barcklays realised that and moved out. Many Zimbabweans realised that and left out. Civil servants did not see that. They are crying except their counterparts manning borders and related duties who are stealing big time. Some invested stolen loot (Gushungo dairies), in chrome, combies esp police officers etc. Some grabbed farms and they are proponents of command agriculture and are stealing inputs. They are the government. They are the party. When their counterparts were invading companies, they did not sympathise with affected workers. Industry is dead. They should stop making noice because they helped its demise..

  7. Why is so much attention being given to the bloated, incompetent and corrupt civil service ? What about the majority of the population that do not have jobs and certainly will not be getting bonuses ?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *